ELK GROVE, Calif. — Porch pirates — they are the Grinches of the holiday season, walking up to homes and stealing all of the packages left behind by delivery driver. 

And the season where they do most of their damage is finally here. For that reason, the Elk Grove Police Department has implemented something to hopefully crack down on package thieves — Operation Grinch.

"Essentially what it does is combine our bait package program along with some presence in neighborhoods with unmarked vehicles with officers in them, looking for any suspicious activity related to package thefts," Elk Grove Police Officer Jason Jimenez told ABC10.

So why they're making this operation public? After all, wouldn't that help some of the potential criminals?

Jimenez said the department is making the community aware, so they understand that police are proactively doing something to prevent thefts.

RELATED: Nearly 300 packages stolen from Amador County post office

"This bait package program doesn't go without their assistance,” Jimenez explained. “In the end, we need the homeowners’ assistance and cooperation to allow us to place that bait package on the front porch. So that's where the community comes in and plays an important role in this operation.”

Now, while it's pretty much impossible to 100% prevent yourself from falling victim to porch pirates, there are some useful tips that can help keep your packages safe.

  • Have your package delivered somewhere safer, like an Amazon delivery box.
  • Get your package delivered to work.
  • Contact a friend, neighbor, or relative pick it up once it’s delivered.

Ultimately, the department is hoping this new program will send a strong message to package thieves.

"If you come to Elk Grove to steal packages, you better think twice because we're right around the corner,” Jimenez said.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Kevin John.

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